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The Gear 5 Luffy has a design problem. No, this is not a debate on the opposition between the audacious and the wacky, we are talking about contrast.
As Yamato saidLuffy’s hair and clothes turned white in Gear 5. Hence the elimination of his signature: black hair and red shirt.
Now forget it, he could be any color, but the most important thing is what he looks like in the manga in black and white.
Oda designed most of his characters with a certain black tint. Including some color coded white characters like Garp.
He did this to be able to place his characters in any situation, setting, angle, without obscuring them. His characters will always stand out.
It might seem obvious, because a lot of manga have done the same thing. But for One Piece, it’s important. Especially for the main character.
Luffy is small, just like Oda’s boards, but the world and its enemies are huge. But thanks to this black touch, Luffy will always hold our attention in each board.
This Gear 5 doesn’t have that. Just look at some of these boards and compare them to his normal design. It’s the opposite of what Oda has always done.
However, we think Oda did it on purpose.
Unlike Oda’s characters, the background and decor are mostly white. Regardless of the level of detail, it always fits with the characters.
This time around however, the combat takes place in an open night sky, which is a great contrast to the design of the Gear 5.
That’s why Oda changes Luffy’s design. From now on, his last battles will take place at night or in a darker setting.
Imagine Luffy fighting Blackbeard with darkness in the background. The darker the setting, the brighter Luffy. It suits someone who will bring the dawn.
Another take on the Gear 5’s design is that it’s essentially a blank canvas. Oda can fill it with ink wherever he wants.
Luffy holding intense lightning, sparks and shadows on his body. Reminds me of Oda’s old umbra before the time jump.
If Luffy still had his usual design, he would look like this with Oda’s current shading.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Luffy could also hold fire like King and create the same shading (black ink). Maybe even moon skin. Oda can literally do whatever he wants.
So, it’s no exaggeration to say that this Gear 5 is truly Luffy’s freest form.